For nearly two years, Church Militant has been following a group of St. Louis pro-life activists who have been sounding the alarm about Catholic hospitals in St. Louis, including Cdl. Glennon Children's Hospital, referring unborn, developmentally disabled children for abortion. Well, those activists are at it again.
Patrick Lee, Ph.D., director, Center for Bioethics, Franciscan University of Steubenville: "We won’t kill this baby. Here's someone else who will kill this baby. That's cooperation, but that's formal cooperation."
A new film, Scandal: The Catholic Culture of Death, documents example after example of hospitals in the St. Louis-based SSM Health system referring parents of unborn, developmentally disabled children for abortions.
It provides direct testimony not only from ethicists and activists but also from a parent who in the spring of 2019 almost fell victim to the recommendations by doctors at St. Mary's Hospital to "terminate" the life of her baby girl.
Aberayana Moore, pregnant mother:
The lady, she did the ultrasound and everything. They said the same thing: best thing for me to do was terminate the pregnancy. And then, what we was explaining to them was we came here because we didn't want to terminate the pregnancy. And it was like, basically, they kept telling me my best thing to do was terminate it.
Pro-life activist John Ryan has assembled an impressive array of evidence, which he has presented to SSM officials, Abp. Mitchell Rozanski and Missouri Knights of Columbus. The Knights provide major funding for developmentally disabled children at Cdl. Glennon Hospital. None of them have offered a substantive response.
But Ryan didn't give up.
He found support for his cause from two St. Louis Catholic organizations: Credo of the Catholic Laity and Defenders of the Unborn, who were major underwriters for the documentary.
On Saturday, the invitation-only film premiere, moderated by former Republican Senate candidate Mark McCloskey, attracted nearly 200 people.
Earlier that day, many of those same Catholics gathered at Calvary Cemetery's Garden of Innocents where a burial service, delayed because of COVID, took place for Aberayana's baby, Kaliyah Marie.
Some priests in the archdiocese of St. Louis were willing to view the film privately, but the film's producers were disappointed that not a single priest attended the premiere of a documentary that exposes a local healthcare system's formal cooperation in evil.
In 2007, Cdl. Glennon Children's Hospital sponsored a benefit concert with pro-abortion entertainer Sheryl Crow. Even when then-Abp. Raymond Burke resigned in protest from the hospital's foundation board prior to the event, board leadership went forward with it.